China Moon Rover Landing - Shadow Anomalies?
By Ted Twietmeyer
During examination of the China Moon rover photos, several optical irregularities jumped out as not right:
In the photo above we see the Chinese rover during deployment down two ramps from the spacecraft onto the surface of the Moon.
1. Our sun is (on the average) 93 million miles away. In optics this can be considered a point light source.
These identical ramps are exactly the same size, length and angle above the Moon's surface and must cast identical shadows on the surface. Here the camera mounted on the lander is almost exactly centered between the two ramps. However, the red and blue horizontal lines in the above photo show the same two points for each ramp are not of equal length as they must be. This indicates a light source was used for this scene which is much closer to the rover than the Sun.
2. There are two solar panels on each side of the China Moon rover, which fold out from each side like the covers of a book. After deployment these are parallel to the Moon's surface. These panels are visible in the above photo. However note the orange circled area above. No trace of any shadow is visible. (more on that later.)
In the above photo from China's space agency there are more problems:
3. It is well known the Sun provides a constant field of light across the day side of the Moon's surface. The green circled areas show large light gradients which should not exist. The center piece of this photo, the rover, is brightly lit. This evidence alone casts doubt on the authenticity of this photo.
4. In this photo the differences in the shadow angles of the two ramps are even more pronounced. Look at the irregularity of the lighted areas (gradients) between the left edge of each ramp and the corresponding shadow.
5. Not only is the shadow missing for the solar panel on the right, but there appears to be evidence of photo manipulation. The enlarged insert (200%) with red lines shows pixelation not visible elsewhere in this scene. You can also see these in the original image; I made sure this is not a artifact of the enlargement process. Someone may have removed the shadow of the solar panel with a image processing tool; perhaps the shadow's angle made the artificial light source was even more obvious.
6. Images fall far short of science-grade quality, especially from a highly developed nation like China.
7. Dish antenna size is FAR too small for use at typical communication frequencies.
Other photos of the Moon from space supplied by the Chinese space agency and other images of the spacecraft in space they provided look authentic. But it is these photos supposedly taken on the Moon which raise a large number of questions.
The Beagle rover sent to Mars by the European Space Agency several years ago was lost during deployment, and to their credit they admitted to this failure. Perhaps the real Chinese rover crashed or communication was lost during deployment. It could be the reason studio photos were used. Supplying studio photos to unsuspecting world media saves the image of the Chinese space agency. It avoids the embarrassment and humiliation which comes with the loss of their entire Moon mission. One thing you can be sure of there will be no whistle blowers if this is the case.
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